Obama Returns With Bold Leadership Message For Democrats

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Former President Barack Obama is keeping his place in the political spotlight years after he left office. This Thursday, on the anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the former president issued a powerful message in defense of voting rights. He outlined a number of steps that he explained as crucially important towards securing the right to vote for as many Americans as possible, including the passage of the John Lewis Civil Rights Act. That legislation, which is named after the late Georgia Congressman, would restore the Voting Rights Act to its full original power. Originally, the law demanded federal oversight for elections system changes in certain problematic areas, but a 2013 Supreme Court decision removed that restriction. In the years since, southern states have — among other things — closed nearly 1,200 polling places.

Obama tweeted:

‘Today is the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act––one of the crowning achievements of our democracy. But once the Supreme Court weakened it, some state legislatures unleashed a flood of laws designed specifically to make voting harder, especially in communities of color. We’ve got to fight harder to protect the right to vote. It’s one of the most powerful tools we have––and we can start by passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Once we pass that, we should continue marching forward to make it even better.’

Obama also called for automatic voter registration, the addition of more polling places, the expansion of early voting opportunities, and the designation of Election Day as a national holiday, which would help ensure that Americans have the chance to have a break from work or other responsibilities to make their voices heard. Obama also, among other points, called for the end to gerrymandering, which is the construction of legislative district lines to favor a particular political party via keeping opposing voters under the majority in as many places as possible.

Obama added:

‘We have to treat voting as the most important action we can take on behalf of democracy. So make sure you are registered to vote. Request a mail-in ballot early and send it back early. Then get your family and friends to do it, too. Every vote counts.’

Trump, it’s worth noting, has been taking the exact opposite approach — he’s been attacking mail-in voting as supposed rife with fraud, despite the lack of evidence for his claims.

Check out Twitter’s response to Obama below:

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